Foster Care: How Your Boutique Can Help
While May is National Foster Care Month and June is National Reunification Month, you don’t need a specific page on the calendar to volunteer your time and efforts to the system. Our country currently has close to 400,000 children in foster care, an alarming number to say the least. These children are separated from their biological parents for several reasons, but they hope to someday be reunited or adopted into a permanent family situation.
Children enter foster care as early as birth and are able to be homed until they age out of the system, are adopted, or are reunited with their biological families. A placement may last a day, month, year, or decade.
For many children in this system, a feeling of home and belonging is not one that comes naturally – or often. Traveling from home to home with a small trash bag of personal items (if any are owned), but still expected to show up at a school and perform and achieve. Their stresses, sadness, and longing are large and their needs are quite small.
You and your boutique can help.
Consider connecting with your local foster care community to find out specific needs of children or families. Hosting a donation drive is simple: a reoccurring blast on social media a few times a week, emails, and in-boutique opportunities will get your drive zooming!
Carrying Hope: Visit for information on creating backpacks full of essentials that a child will get to call their own.
Bags4Kids: Another organization that fills bags for fostered children. They ask for new or gently used backpacks, duffle bags, and baby bags.
FosterCares: More than the basics, new toys and bikes can be donated to local children.
Our favorite gift to give is a Heartbeat Animal and recorder for a family member – parent, grandparent, or sibling (biological or foster) to save a message into. The stuffed animal quickly becomes a lifeline and can keep separated biological siblings feeling close to one another, toddlers feeling comforted by a mother’s voice, and teens feeling connected to a family they will always love.
Foster Care Package
You can offer a “Foster Care Package” to clients that includes a buy one Heartbeat Animal, give one Heartbeat Animal. You can also offer the option for the client to record a message in case it will be passed onto a child living in a situation unavailable to the perfect recording. Any mother’s voice can sound like an angel.
There is nothing like seeing a baby’s heartbeat on your ultrasound screen. Every one of those babies deserves a family full of love. Sometimes it takes a village for that to happen.